Be VERY Careful What You Ask Your Teen Daughter

Be Very Careful What You Ask Your Teen Daughter!  #funny #cook #crockpot #turkey #humor #parenting

So then…I take a bite of Pralines & Cream at our little neighborhood Baskin-Robbins shop and ask my daughter Chloe, age 13, “So what do you think I should cook for dinner when the Donnellys come over Saturday?”

She nearly chokes on her Oreo 31 Below.

I shoot her a sharp glance.

She tries to recover quickly.

She loves me dearly but knows that cooking is not my forte.

“Um…let’s see,” she stalls. “There are lots of things you could make…um…”

“Well, what do you like that I cook?” I ask.

“Oh, I love your cookies and cakes and brownies and—”

“No, not what I bake. What I cook. What do you like that I cook?

She pales.

To be fair, my cooking repertoire IS fairly limited. I’m a woman of many talents, gifts, and skills (FAR too many to detail here) – but cooking’s not one of them. In fact, the main reason I’m asking her opinion is that I’m a bit anxious about cooking for the Donnelly family (or anyone, for that matter.) For potlucks, I always bake dessert. For my own dinner parties, I often order in or even (gasp) cater for the special occasions!

I’ve long envied the women who can whip up a delicious meal on a moment’s notice with the ingredients already in their pantry and fridge. I could try that – but it’d need to be meal that includes the typical staples in my house (Nestles chocolate morsels, mayonnaise, peanut butter, and delicious cheeses.)

My other cooking issue is that I have a fanatical fear of undercooking the meat. It probably stems from the first turkey I ever tried to cook — it simply WOULD.NOT.COOK. It was in that oven for hours and hours and hours – and no matter what, it never fully cooked. Honestly, it was traumatizing! The next year, I even ordered a PRE-COOKED turkey so all I had to do was heat it up — and it STILL didn’t cook through! Ever since then, I ensure we invite cooking relatives to our house for Thanksgiving — or invite ourselves to their homes. We’re working our way across America for each Thanksgiving and will probably be at your home soon.

So this is why I always order steaks/burgers/fish/etc well done at restaurants. And this is why I started crock-potting. Because if you put something in there at 8 am, it’s usually cooked through by 6 pm. In fact, some might say a little TOO cooked through. (And to them I say, “Well, fine, more for me, my friend. Help yo’self to the peanut butter and delicious cheeses.”)

Actually I make a fabulous tuna casserole.

My daughter Chloe abhors tuna.

She ate it maybe ONE time when she was about 5 – and to this day, anytime she can’t readily identify what I serve her, she’ll suspiciously ask me, “Is this tuna?

“No!” I’ll say. She’ll poke it a bit, and ask plaintively, “Are you sure it’s not tuna?” As if I were serving her potentially poisonous pufferfish!

Honestly, I’ve never served that child tuna again since she was 5 – but she asks me at least once a month, with an accusatory tone, “Is this tuna?”

Add to this that Chloe’s a picky eater, so there isn’t much that she likes anyway. (Of course, her being a picky eater MIGHT be related to my culinary malfeasance…)

So you can see that this innocent conversation about what to serve the Donnellys on Saturday is a virtual minefield that Chloe’s trying to tiptoe through, so as not to offend my feelings – or God forbid, trigger a tuna dish.

“Well,” she says, “I like your porkchops.” (crock pot recipe)

“Yes, go on.”

“Um, I like your French Dip beef.” (crock pot recipe)

“And what else?” I ask.

“Um, your green bean casserole?”

“What!? You never eat my green bean casserole!” I say.

“Yeah, but I’ve heard it’s really good!” she says brightly.

“From whom?” I ask skeptically.

“From you!” she says.

“Oh, for God’s sake. Seriously? After all these years, that’s all you can come up with?” I ask.

“Well, I was gonna say, ‘You open a mean can of corn,’ but I didn’t want to offend.”

I bust out laughing. “Chloe!”

“Or ‘you order Honeybaked Ham well,’” she offers.

We both guffaw.

She’s right, of course. And she does love her some corn (as evidenced in the Embarrassing Book Club Incident)

We finish our ice cream and finalize the menu for Saturday:

crockpot chicken,
green bean casserole,
canned corn –
and 3 – count ‘em, 3 – scrumptious homemade baked desserts!
Get ready, Donnellys, you’re in for a treat!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Is your child terrified of tuna? Or some other innocuous food? Are you a culinary master — or more of a baker like me? Can we come to your house for Thanksgiving this year?)

Are You Inviting Me to Hooters Dress-Up Day?

Hooters
So then…I pop another chocolate at work and pause mid-contract when it hits me: “Oh, shizznit! Did I forget to RSVP to lunch tomorrow with my friend Lindsey?”

I dash off a quick email to her:

Lindsey,
Did I email you back to say that Tuesday would be great because I have to go to Vegas for work on Wed-Thurs —

and then you emailed back to say ok how about Tuesday at 12:30 at one of the Westlake restaurants –

and then I emailed back to say that sounds great —

and then you emailed to say that you wanted to coordinate outfits and that you’d be wearing purple and green stripes —

and I emailed back to say that Tuesday is my “Dress Like A Hooters Waitress Day” and I couldn’t deviate from the routine —

and you sent me your therapist’s number —

did all that happen — or am I hallucinating again?
Darcy

Lindsey emails me this response:

No, you did NOT rsvp and you left me hanging –

making me wonder if our friendship was over or you found someone to replace me –

leaving me to think that I’ll never get a chance to wear my new purple and green striped sweater –

and thinking that had I said something to offend you –

or maybe you said something to offend me and were worried that it had gotten back to me –

so to avoid being uncomfortable at lunch thinking “does she know or does she not know” you just decided NOT to rsvp.

So then I cracked my tooth and need a crown (this part is true) –

and my appt is at 9:20 tomorrow and will take 2 hours and then I’ll be numb and feeling crappy –

so I’m very much hoping you can meet me on FRIDAY and wear blue stripes and a red hat.

Please rsvp.
Lindsey

And this is why Lindsey and I are friends. She totally gets me.

Of course, there was the time she was clearly hitting on me —  and we have a long and colorful history of memory challenges regarding our get-togethers.

But whenever we do meet, it’s loads of laughs. And the occasional Dress Like a Hooters Waitress Day.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Is YOUR memory struggling to keep pace with your hectic life – or is it mired down in a fog of excessive wine and chocolate consumption? You agree that Lindsey was totally hitting on me that time, right? Have you “dined” at Hooters, dressed like a Hooters gal – or own Hooters? Do tell!)

Beara Self Portrait 380

Introducing….Sarah-Jayne from Brisbane, Australia: writer of Beara 

I’m delighted to share one of my newest sponsors with you, especially since she’s funny and quirky and odd – all the things we love!

And creative! Check out her incredible self-portrait she drew up above!

I totally cracked up reading her true tale of the Pee Bandit – and oh, how I could identify with her childhood stealth and misdirection in efforts to elude discovery!

When you read 30 Things I Did Before I Turned 30, you’ll want to invite Sarah-Jayne over for margaritas to hear the raucous tales behind each wild item.

Sarah-Jayne describes her blog Beara in this way: “A writer who doesn’t write (enough), an artist who doesn’t art and a comedian who doesn’t… comedy. Yep. Content includes anecdotes taking place in one of the many different places she has lived or about the many different lives she has lived. She has been a small redheaded child with a big imagination and a penchant for pee. She has been a culturally confused white teenager with an unquenchable thirst for shitty cask wine and gangster rap. She is currently a confused and somewhat awkward adult trying to come to grips with being the only one of her friends not keen to have kids or (it seems) maintain any semblance of a 5 year plan. Sometimes you’ll also see images she takes with the two cameras she owns and maybe a song or two that makes her feel weird and good.”

You’ll instantly recall your own carnival and state fair experiences when you read her descriptive Exhibitionist story.

Shakin All Over is a lovely lyrical memory of a major discovery – the words will just tumble right over you and you’ll feel like you’re there, experiencing it with her.

Hope you enjoy visiting Sarah-Jayne’s Beara site for her unique perspective and funny stories!

Thanks, Darcy Perdu

Smackdown! Old Biddies vs. Rowdy Moms

Smackdown
So then…we shriek with laughter, pounding our fists on the table, slapping our thighs – with tears rolling down our faces.

The diners at the tables near us turn to look, so we shush each other, giggling like schoolgirls.

It’s Mom’s Night Out and the four of us are lettin’ off steam, swillin’ cocktails, and skewering our husbands, our kids, and ourselves. No one’s safe from our mockery and teasing, including each other. We’re swapping stories, revealing embarrassing moments, and asking those awkward personal questions you can only ask your really close girlfriends.

We’re trying to be considerate of our fellow restaurant patrons, but we’re on a roll – chatting and laughing and — yes, even squealing. Either we are downright HILARIOUS – or these cocktails are mighty potent!

Most people are engaged in their own conversations, but there’s one table of elderly diners who keep eyeing us. Every time a gust of laughter bellows from our table, the white-haired ladies look our way and their husbands frown in our direction.

We pull back to a dull roar, but then…(for the rest of the funny story, please click Smackdown: Old Biddies vs. Rowdy Moms — at the site of the hilarious, fun-loving Marcia Kester Doyle of Menopausal Mother who invited me to guest post the story at her blog.)

Marcia’s popular blog features the “Musings on the good, the bad and the ugly side of menopausal mayhem. If you bring me a bottle of pinot grigio and a large jar of Nutella, I’ll be your best friend!” You’ll relate to her laments of middle age, laugh at her adventures, and snort at her inane suggestions that somehow make.perfect.sense!

For a comedic romp on a shopping expedition where the only clothing sizes left are “hummingbird or mastodon” — you’ll enjoy reading One Size Fits None. I could definitely relate when Marcia says, “It never fails that by the time I get to the checkout counter, the angry woman in front of me with three returns and a missing receipt was once the president of her high school debate team.”

Yappers, Poopers, and Barbie Dolls? Where in the world is Marcia now? At the gym, of course, listing the 8 People I Love to Hate at the Gym. Have YOU encountered any of these people?

Of course a cow-print muumuu is the perfect Mother’s Day Gift! For other FABULOUS ideas, check Marcia’s funny list of 12 Mother’s Day Gift Fails.  And let’s not forget Father’s Day! Here are Marcia’s surefire ways How To Keep Your Husband Happy.

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Check out her hilarious posts on her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter:
Menopausal Mother Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Thanks for letting me guest post at your blog today, Marcia!

Everyone else – please remember to read the rest of my funny true tale by clicking Smackdown: Old Biddies vs. Rowdy Moms. Thanks!

— Darcy Perdu

My Coworker’s Compliment MIGHT Be a Bit Back-Handed…?

My Coworker's Compliment MIGHT Be Back-Handed
So then…I push open the doors to the hotel pool and see that some of my co-workers also took our boss’ advice to relax a bit before we need to be at the conference dinner tonight.

I’m only 22, so I can hardly believe my good fortune that I have a job that allows sipping cocktails poolside – I’m literally giddy!

As I enter the hotel pool area in my navy blue one-piece, one of my co-workers says, “Oh, that’s a pretty swimsuit, Darcy.”

I grin broadly, sort of surprised at the compliment because that co-worker happens to be a girl my age who hasn’t been very welcoming in the past. She comes from money and an Ivy League education and she’s always acted sort of snooty toward me and my small town background.

So I stop in front of her lounge chair and smile happily with a genuine, “Thanks, Cheryl!”

She smirks with a side glance to her friend and says, “Yeah, I remember it being pretty when I first saw it. It’s from last season, right?”

I am thunderstruck.

Not because she’s rude.

But because it just now hits me: swimsuits have SEASONS?

I shuffle off to a lounge chair in a daze. I know I’m not exactly sophisticated, but it never occurred to me that clothes have SEASONS. Is there an EXPIRATION date for clothing?

As I lay out my towel and lay down, I think back on what my mama taught me about fashion:

1) Trends and fads come and go, so buy “classics” that you can wear forever.
2) Buy your clothes a little loose so they can last a long time even when you grow.
3) Take good care of your clothes so you can pass them on to your younger siblings.
4) Style and color are secondary to a great sale price!

So our entire buying strategy was based on the hope that our clothes would last practically FOREVER! The concept that a perfectly-usable garment would only be good for one season, then tossed aside and replaced with a new garment was literally MIND-BOGGLING.

We chose dark colors, classic styles, and larger sizes so we could wear our clothes for years! We practically looked like cast members of Fiddler on the Roof!

We knew not to even ask for whatever the latest trend was – tye-dyed bell bottoms, hip huggers, that burgundy-wine color everyone was suddenly wearing one winter, or whatever.

My closet was basically filled with conservative clothes fit for a funeral parlor – with the occasional wacky item from the mark-down clearance bin.

For example, as a high schooler, I wore a bushy ORANGE winter coat. Not a hipster so-retro-it’s-cool “burnt umber” winter coat. It was a HIDEOUS OMIGOD-WHAT-THE-HELL-IS-SHE-WEARING FLAMING-ORANGE COAT.

I’d walk down the school hallway, weaving in and out of my classmates’ black and brown coats like I was a Neon Orange Traffic Cone!

But.it.was.on.sale. A BIG sale. And so I wore that coat proudly.

I rub suntan lotion on my arms and look over at Cheryl and the other girl giggling and gossiping. Their swimsuits look adorable but I literally have no concept if they’re from this season or last season or from 17 seasons ago. Who’s able to keep track of such things?

I put on my sunglasses and think back to an afternoon when I was about 10 years old, back in Louisiana. My Mom came into my room and laid out two shirts on the bed. They looked the same – two blue short-sleeve shirts. She said, “One of these cost $6.99 at Kmart and one of these cost $19.99 at Dillard’s Department Store. Can you guess which is which?”

I studied and studied those shirts. I touched the material. I compared the colors. But they were practically identical.

“I can’t tell the difference,” I said.

My Mom looked me straight in the eye and said, “Exactly!”

Lesson learned, my friend, lesson learned. Talk about a great visual!

And so our family of 7 shopped at Kmart, Target, and Wal-Mart – with the occasional splurge at Dillard’s Department Store for special events.

And we were happy! We weren’t worried if our clothes had “expired” or they weren’t “labelled” by a fancy designer. We were just delighted not to be walking around nekkid!

So I’m certainly not going to let Cheryl shame my “dated” swimsuit now. I sit up, grin at Cheryl and her pal, then proudly sashay my ass over to the bar to order a cocktail and chat up the hot bartender.

— Darcy Perdu

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(What did your mama teach you about clothes, shopping, and sales when you were a kid? Any mortifying garments you recall from your childhood or teen years? P.S. While typing this, I’m wearing expired clothing RIGHT NOW!)

EXTRA P.S. For another funny fashion faux pas, check out this VERY embarrassing thing I said to a co-worker! 

Retro Prom & Cutting-Edge Writers

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So then…I see another posting about another blogger friend going to the Blog U conference this June – and I snap!

I just can’t take it anymore! Everyone’s going to have so much fun without me!

So…I register!

I was on the fence so long about whether or not I should attend since it’s across the country.

Then I saw the faculty of Blog U, which is literally rife with many of my favorite writers.

And the attendee list is chock full of my blogger pals from cyber space.

And sites I’d love to write for (HuffPost and NickMom) are sponsors.

And the schedule is jam-packed with great sessions.

And Saturday night is a RETRO PROM!

How could I resist?!

I’m so excited to join the cool kids at Blog U for an awesome weekend of laughing, learning, and liberal libations!

There’s still time to register by May 15, bloggers — so take the plunge and join us!

— Darcy Perdu

He Disagrees, But I Insist — So Of COURSE Disaster Ensues!

He Disagrees But I Insist, So Hilarious Disaster Follows 430x

READ the story below — or click Green Arrow below to HEAR the story!

So then…he snorts. “The ‘Park After Dark?’ That doesn’t make any sense,” says my husband David, skeptically.

“No, no,” I say. “This will be great! Instead of dragging the kids through the 90 degree heat of the day, we can visit the wild animal park at night, when it’s so much cooler!”

“Amma-mals?” asks toddler Chloe.

“Yes, honey, we’re going to see the animals,” I say.

David scoffs, “Are you sure we’ll ‘see’ them?”

“Yes, yes!” I say, laughing. “I just talked to the park on the phone. The guy said there’s lighting all over the place – and it’s so cool to visit at night!

David raises his eyebrow dubiously – but finally relents.

So we pack up Chloe, age 2; Tucker, age 5; the stroller and supplies, and drive the minivan 2 hours over to the wild animal park, just as darkness descends.

The kids are so excited.

The tickets are $50 each. David is so not excited. “Fifty bucks? Seriously?”

“Yes, it’s the special Park After Dark price.” I say. “It’s even more during the day!”

More?” he says. “Geez, what kind of animals do they have here? Unicorns and dragons?” he says.

“Dragons?” asks Tucker, wide-eyed.

“No, no,” I say quickly, shooting David a look. “No dragons, but lots of cool wild animals – rhinos, hippos, zebras, lions — you’ll love it!”

We board the caravan bus and there’s only one other family on board. And I could swear that husband exchanged an exasperated look with my husband. Like “you got roped into this too, huh?” There may have even been a shared rolling of the eyes.

As Mom the Cheerleader, I enthusiastically say, “Let’s grab seats by the windows, so we can see all the wild creatures!”

So we look out the windows — but the jungle foliage is thick; the lighting’s poor; and we can’t really see anything.

We look left, right, front, back — I’m desperate to see something to point out to the kids – an animal, a movement, a shape, a shadow…something.

David stares at me with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Chloe stands up on the seat next to me and presses her face against the window. “Where da amma-mals at?”

David swallows a guffaw. “Yeah, Darcy, ‘where dose amma-mals at?’”

I stare at him with the icy glare of a thousand glaciers.

“Excuse me, sir,” I say to the driver. “We’ve been riding around for half an hour and can’t really see anything. Where are the animals?”

“They’re sleeping,” he says.

“SLEEPING?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he says impatiently. “It’s DARK out.”

Oh my good God.

David practically chokes, he’s laughing so hard. He tries to suppress it so the kids don’t see, but he can’t help himself.

I shake the park map out in front of me. “Don’t worry, kids, we’ll find something fun to do!”

(But I notice that many of the attractions say “closed at night.”)

Finally! “Oh! Look, kids – there’s a Bird Sanctuary! It says you can feed the birds and they’ll land right on your hand!” I say brightly. “Let’s go there!”

So as soon as the “Sleeping” Animal Tour docks back at base camp, we head off to find the birds.

And thanks to the pitch black night, dim lighting, and poor path signage, we get lost.

The jungle air is thick with resentment.

We finally arrive at the Bird Sanctuary, which is packed with people. We buy little tiny paper cups filled with bird seed and stand there, holding our little cups up to the birds in the trees above us.

But they don’t land on us. They don’t really land on much of anyone. Every so often a bird lazily floats down.

Chloe’s running in circles, holding her cup as high as she can. “Come here, birdies! Come here, birdies!”

Tucker’s inspecting the bird feed in his cup and looks as if he might try it out himself.

I don’t get it. These birds are not flitting and flying like energetic little whirlwinds. These birds seem very lethargic — and disinterested in feeding.

“What’s wrong with these birds?” I ask one of the staff workers. “They’re not eating any of the food our kids are offering.”

“Oh, they’re full,” she says.

“FULL?!” I ask.

“Oh, yeah,” she says. “People have been feeding them all day long. By the time night comes, they’re stuffed.”

I squeeze my eyes closed tightly. Oh please, don’t let David have heard that part. Oh please. Where is he? Is he…is he…yep, he’s right behind me, biting his lip, grinning like a madman.

Oh for God’s sake. I whip out the map again, desperate for something to salvage this trip.

“Hey, look kids! There’s a Tribal Dance performance in the African outpost! Doesn’t that sound FUN?!” I say, infusing my voice with the enthusiasm of a thousand cheerleaders on crack cocaine.

We bundle Chloe in the stroller and grab Tucker’s hand and make haste to the outpost.

It’s much farther than we thought, and the directional signs lead us astray twice.

So I’m trying to push this frikkity-frik stroller over the ruts in this “authentic” dirt path, sweating – and swearing (under my breath) – through the massive jungle vegetation.

We’re walking forever. David’s ready to abandon ship.

I swear I think if a golf cart magically appeared, he’d immediately hop aboard and ride away, with a tender wave goodbye: “Farewell dear family, I loved you well and will think of you kindly when I’m back in air-conditioning chugging a cold beer.”

He’s just about to insist we turn back when we see another family coming toward us on the path.

“Do you know where the Tribal Dancers are?” I ask desperately.

“Yeah, they’re right through there,” they say, pointing behind them.

“Come on, kids! We’re almost there! Oh, oh, I think I hear them!” I say, picking up my pace.

All we see is jungle, but we hear the faint thrum of the drums and low rhythmic chanting, so we run toward the sound.

Just as we turn the bend, huffing and puffing, we spill into a big clearing with lots of people – and the announcer says, “So that concludes our last show of the night, folks! Hope you enjoyed it!”

Cue applause.

Cue laser daggers shooting out of David’s eyes into my cerebral cortex.

I want to slump into a sweaty ball of surrender. Just give myself up to the jungle gods right here and now. Let the baboons feast on my flesh; let the hyenas laugh at my folly.

I am done.

But I have two disgruntled kids and one fuming husband to transport back to the park exit and put an end to this disastrous night.

David doesn’t say a word on the trek back through the jungle, but I can hear his thoughts in his head as though they are screeching from a megaphone: ItoldyousoItoldyousoItoldyouso.

The longer we walk, the madder I get at the park guy on the phone who told me that this was such a great idea.

When we finally reach the exit, I say to David, “This is ridiculous! I’m gonna march right in that ticket office and demand our $200 back! We couldn’t see the animals – the birds were full – the dancers were too far away – there’s nothing to do at this stupid park at night!”

David shoots me a cynical look and crosses his arms. “Really? You think they’re gonna give you your money back?”

“Yes,” I say firmly. “Just you watch.”

I stomp into the ticket office, full of fire and brimstone. I rant and rave and rail.

Moments later, I emerge with an envelope.

“So,” he says, grinning. “What’d they give you?”

I hang my head and say, “Four free tickets for another night at Park After Dark.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Yes, yes, this whole disastrous tale is true! Now it’s your turn – share your funny experiences with zoos, theme parks, and other family excursions. Any brilliant ideas YOU’VE had that your spouse was oh-so-right and you were oh-so-wrong? Do tell!)